Sure, beaches might become wayyyyy less fun during the winter months, but that’s all the more reason to turn your attention inland to our spectacular southern regions. A beautiful part of the world just ripe for adventuring, it’s also dotted with an array of camping and caravanning options to suit all comers.
We’ve outlined some of the best experiences to enjoy in our South West while camping and caravanning around the region, and you can head to the Australia’s South West Website for more travel inspo.
Bunbury + Collie + Harvey
In case you missed the memo, Bunbury is no longer just a pitstop on the way further down south. It’s got a bubbling food and drink scene filled with cosy, cool restaurants, plus its own unique wineries and breweries to discover in the tumbling hills of the Ferguson Valley. Meanwhile the increasingly culturally vibrant city streets are lined with stunning street murals, art galleries and museums to immerse yourself in.
Then just a short trip east will land you in Collie, not only WA’s mountain biking capital and unofficial “lake district”, but home to the world’s largest outdoor mural at Wellington Dam. That’s not to mention the abundance of peaceful nature hikes, heritage and history to explore. A little further south you’ll find the equally stunning Capel and Donnybrook regions, home to some of the State’s freshest produce (make sure you organise some fruit picking), the gorgeous Golden Valley Tree Pack and Ironstone Gully Falls, which should be just about to start really flowing.
On a similar tip, the Harvey Region is filled with fresh produce, 4WDing adventures, hinterland hikes, scenic drives and loads more – check our recent deep dive here.
Where To Camp:
You’re absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to camping around Bunbury and Collie. From free camps to more structured spots, there’s Belvidere, Honeymoon Pool, Stockton Lake, Potters Gorge, Glen Mervyn Dam and Lake Kepwari that are perfect for an overnight stopover as you venture further south.
Busselton + Dunsborough + Margaret River
Spending your summer down south by the beach is old news – exploring this part of the world in winter is where it’s at! Those crisp, sunny winter days hit a little different in the South West, and it’s a great time of year to curl up by the fire, reconnect with friends and family, and maybe get out of your comfort zone a little bit. We recently shared a host of different experiences happening down south this winter, including things like whale watching (which is kicking off around now until early December), cave conquering, fresh produce-packed farmers markets, and boutique beers at one of a plethora of toasty breweries in amongst the world class wineries of the region.
Where To Camp:
RAC Busselton Holiday Park and RAC Margaret River Nature Park (pictured below) are two fantastic options that offer different styles of camping. The former is kitted out with all kinds of entertainment for families, including BMX track, jumping pillow, electric bikes, peddle cars and more, while the latter is perfect for the nature-seekers. Surrounded by the tall trees of Wooditjup National Park, this nature-based eco-experience is only a couple of kilometres from Margaret River town with a couple of camp kitchens, barbecue areas, kids nature playground, fire pits perfect for curling beside on cooler nights and more.
A little further south Contos Campground and the more inland Sues Bridge (near Blackwood River) offer more standard campsite fare, and are close to beautiful walking trails by the sea and river.
Albany + Denmark
This rugged part of the WA coastline only gets better in the wild and wooly winter months, when huge winter swells slam into the coast offering breathtaking experiences at places like The Gap and Natural Bridge near Albany. For the keen hikers out there the Great Southern Treasures region is also filled with some of the state’s most challenging hikes like the Castle Rock Granite Skywalk in the Porongorup Range and the big kahuna – Bluff Knoll in Stirling Range National Park (where snow is a possibility in the winter months).
All that walking can be pleasantly offset (or rewarded?) with fantastic food and wine at all of the boutique wineries, breweries and distilleries strewn throughout the region. The city of Albany itself is also lined with great restaurants and cafes, along with some fantastic museums for the culturally and historically-inclined explorers (get the lowdown here).
Where To Camp:
West Cape Howe National Park is an adventurer’s paradise with dramatic cliffs and rocky headlands offering plenty of spots to pitch your tent (just follow signage), while Parry Beach near Denmark is popular amongst surfers and hikers hitting the Bibbulmun Track.
Pemberton + Manjimup
Heading a little further inland, the forest-filled regions around Pemberton and Manjimup become absolutely lush with greenery during winter, which means it’s also truffle season! Jump on a truffle dog hunt or skip the search and head straight for one of the many mouthwatering restaurants and wineries around the place to have it served by some of the state’s finest chefs. There’s also some huge trees to climb (Dave Evans Bicentennial and Gloucester Tree), some moody, misty and dare we say romantic pools to enjoy, and the marvelous Beedelup Falls to take in while enjoying one of a heap of nature walks in the area.
Where To Camp:
Where it comes to camping in the Pemberton region it’s hard to go past RAC Karri Valley Resort – just 20 minutes out of Pemberton within the lush karri forests of Beedelup. It’s home to powered ensuite sites, large powered sites for caravans, campers, vans and tents and unpowered camp sites and stacked with things to do for the whole family, including a BMX track, tennis courts, pool table, ping pong, nature playground, archery and even an animal farm!
If you’re looking for something a little simpler nearby Big Brook Arboretum and Draftys Camp are well appointed to suit free campers and self-contained camper trailers and caravans.
Start planning your next south west camping adventure this winter at the Australia’s South West Website.
This article is sponsored by Australia’s South West and very happily endorsed by us. Please see our Editorial Policy for more info.